Friends of the Cornelius Public Library has received a $2,000 grant from the Oregon International Air Show to support “Reading Adventure Packs,” a new initiative to encourage reading and literacy through family interaction.

The Friends currently fund three programs at the library targeted at improving literacy: the English language preschool story time; Spanish language family story time; and the summer reading program. Story times reached 975 children in 2014 and 35 percent (1,110) of all children in Cornelius participated in the summer reading program, officials said.

Reading Adventure Packs are a set of 10 themed backpacks that include a variety of books and educational support material that can be checked out free at the Cornelius Library. For example, one pack will be “Going on a Bear Hunt.”

It will include both fiction and non-fiction books about bears, a puppet, a music CD and educational activity sheets. Some of the kits will be in Spanish.

“Our community can really benefit from expanded library services like the Adventure Packs,” said Library Director Karen Hill. “Cornelius has an especially high rate of poverty and illiteracy. Literacy is so important — it’s a key element of breaking the poverty cycle and setting children up to be successful.”

The Friends of the Cornelius Library are a volunteer organization dedicated to supporting the library. The organization is half-way to its goal of raising $2.4 million for a new, larger library.

This is the third time the Oregon International Air Show has granted funds to the Cornelius Library. The air show made grants to more than 40 local charities in 2014.

The 2015 air show will be held July 17-19 and will feature the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

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